Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Wed May 06 2015

Opinion Home | The Main Course

  • Tom Bastek | May 6, 2015 5:00 AM ET

    Five Great Cities For A Great Burger

    Five Great Cities For A Great Burger

    Photos courtesy of their respective restaurants, top photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    May is officially National Burger Month, as if a food item of such vast popularity around the world needed more recognition. One of those classic, go-to foods in the U.S., we as a country consume over 50 billion burgers a year.  Although there is a burger on almost every menu in the country, here are a few places to go for the true connoisseur. 

    Santa Fe, N.M.

    The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail is 97 stops of pure joy, ecstasy, and madness about all things green chile cheeseburger. Passing through the city of Santa Fe, be sure to check out Atrisco Café, Blake’s Lotaburger, and Santa Fe Bite, just to name a few. I am not sure you would want to hit them all, but if you have a problem with the choices that were made for the trail, bring your complaint to the New Mexico residents, visitors, restaurateurs, reviewers, and critics that put the map together.

    New Haven, Conn.

    You might not know this, but New Haven is the birthplace of the hamburger and Louis Lunch lays claim to the creation of the first known “hamburger sandwich,” in the year 1900. Proprietor Louis Lassen put his patented blend of ground steak trimmings in between two pieces of toast for a busy customer and viola, burger. This place really knows tradition and history as they still cook the burgers on the original cast iron grills, they still don’t offer any condiments for the burger outside of the tomato and onion that comes with it, and there are no sides but potato salad and chips. The place is still in the family with Louis’ grandson, Jeff running the show today.

    Naples, Fla.

    Naples is known for being one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune for a gourmet burger in this town. At Brooks Gourmet Burgers and Dogs there isn’t a burger on the menu for more than the $11.99. For the maximum price, you get the “Donut Burger” — which is a patty, cheese and bacon between two glazed donuts. 

    From a western burger to a pesto with goat cheese burger you are bound to find a new, unique take on the old ground round. If you are more of an organic person or veggie-saurus, head over to The Local where they specialize in everything being farm-to-table and sea-to-table, and boast a vegan burger with house-made horsey vegenaise, fresco salsa, lettuce, onion, and tomato.

    Providence, R.I.

    Providence is one of those places you wouldn’t think has received national recognition in all kinds of places for its burgers, but it has. They have a burger for every budget, too. The locals love Harry’s Bar & Burger, which serves only certified Hereford beef and has been voted best burger in the country many times. They also brew their own beer claiming, “No crap on tap.”Other choices in the area include Local121, Luxe Burger Bar, Clean Plate RI, Julian’s, and the Providence G Pub.   

    Fort Worth, Texas

    Texas in general comes as no surprise as a state big on burgers, and Fort Worth is right towards the top. Kincaid’s Hamburgers has been around for over 50 years, serving up traditional burgers and dogs, just like you remember from your childhood. If you want to do something a little more contemporary, try out Rodeo Goat, who bring gourmet toppings and fun names to a whole new level. Check out their burger battle where two burgers go head to head each month and your order counts as one vote. If you are looking for the best the town has to offer, check out the list of the Best Burger Joints in the City that the Fort Worth CVB has put together. I will plug celebrity chef and local boy, Tim Love and his Love Shack for another great place to get a burger.

    So where do you like to go to get a burger by you?  For me in the Atlanta area it’s The Vortex. Let me know in the comments below.


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Tom Bastek The Main Course

Tom Bastek Tom is a writer in the Atlanta Area. He has traveled to all 48 continental states and almost every stop in the Caribbean. In addition to Traveling, Tom geeks out on bowling, craft beer, trains, pinball, comic books, sci-fi and playing the tuba. You can get him at and @TravelWriterTom.
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